Here is my monthly report on projects, goals, and the lessons I’m learning along the way.
My 2020 Goals
100% / Double the number of members of The Religion Teacher (December 2017 to present) (+8%)
441,860/1,000,000 words for kids (A part of my #1millionwordsforkids goal) (+18,432 words)
593/600 Resources (Videos/Worksheets) for Members of The Religion Teacher (+20 resources)
75/75 Books read (+9 books)
33/73 Books of the Bible read from beginning to end (+1 books read)
128/100 30-minute workouts (+10 workouts)
How I Spent My Time in December 2020
I track every minute of time I spend working on projects using an app called Toggl (here is why). Here is a list of the top ten projects I spent the most time on last month:
- 16:12 – Formation5 Daily Email Newsletter
- 15:59 – The Religion Teacher Email & Customer Service
- 9:08 – Daily Review
- 8:06 – Morning Preview
- 5:21 – Weekly Review
- 5:39 – The Religion Teacher’s Bible Biography Worksheets (Member Resources)
- 5:33 – The Religion Teacher YouTube Videos
- 3:32 – Formative Fiction Newsletter
- 2:46 – The Religion Teacher Newsletter
- 2:37 – The Playbook Posts
Total Time: 93:02 Hours
December 2020 Highlights & Lessons Learned
Formation5 Newsletter Update
I have to admit that I did not expect Formation5 to pass email and customer service in total time last month. I spent more than sixteen hours writing, editing, and formatting the daily emails for Catholic parents.
Personally, the emails have made a big impact on my faith and my family. I feel more in touch with the daily rhythms of the Church year than I ever have before and I know the subscribers do, too.
The open rate is still very impressive, but the number of subscribers is only growing at a stead pace (10% or so). My initial hope was to write 100 emails and see what happened. We are two months in and a little more than half way towards that initial experiment. I hope the response will continue to be positive and lead to a big change in families.
The Religion Teacher Bible Biography Worksheets
Old Testament worksheets were my main “maker” project from last month. I researched and wrote short biographies and reflection questions based on the lives of the following Biblical figures:
- Ezra Worksheet
- Nehemiah Worksheet
- Tobit Worksheet
- Judith Worksheet
- Esther Worksheet
- The Maccabees Worksheet
I have enjoyed this project in 2020 and look forward to completing a full collection of both the Old Testament and New Testament next year.
2020 Reading Log
I set a goal to read 75 books in 2020 and I just barely hit that goal. As I look back upon the many books, I realize I need to make an adjustment to my goals for next year.
Reading 75 books was amazing, but retention is much more important than reading alone. I set out to rapidly increase my reading because every author will tell you that reading is the key to becoming a better writer. I couldn’t agree more, but there is a difference in payoff between active reading and passive reading.
- What actionable ideas did I gain from the nonfiction books?
- What lessons did I learn about writing from the fiction books?
Next year I’m shifting from reading towards retention. I set a small goal with just two books a month in 2021, but a big goal for reading to be able to summarize and expand upon specific ideas.